Name: Del Lowery.
Hometown: He lives in Bellingham and Vancouver, B.C.
Family: Lowery lives with his wife, Brenda, and has one son and one daughter.
Blogger: Lowery hosts an online podcast, "Retirement Talk," where he records interviews with experts about how to plan for retirement and answers listeners' questions.
"I used to teach philosophy, where I think about important life questions," he says. "I wanted to answer another important question, which is, 'What to do with the rest of your life now that you're retired?'"
New technology: Lowery says many people in his age group don't listen to online podcasts, so it's difficult to reach his target audience. He started the podcast about six years ago and records at least one show per week.
"It's a lot of work keeping it updated," he says. "My son is very tech-oriented, so he is always giving me new technology to use. Running the podcast, I always have to learn some new technology to keep up."
Early retirement: Lowery retired in 1987, when he was 45 years old. He was teaching philosophy in Alaska when the school offered him a retirement incentive package with full medical benefits and part of his yearly salary. He says he worried about giving up a larger paycheck, but says accepting the offer was the best decision he ever made.
"I didn't think it was possible to live on that smaller paycheck, but then I started thinking about what we really needed to survive," he says. "I realized that if we can't live on that amount of money, we should just die."
Funding retirement: "People are afraid to retire because they don't want to run out of money, but you don't need a lot of money," he says. "The key to the money situation is to simply live on less."
When Lowery planned his own retirement, he visited the library looking for ideas about what to do with his time. Rather than directing him to books about how to enjoy his retirement, the librarian sent him to the finance section. That's why he avoids financial topics in "Retirement Talk."
Realistic goals: "I find that's what our culture deals with exclusively," he says. "People wander around lost and don't know what to do because they are worried about paying for retirement. They don't pause to think about what will make their retirement fulfilling."
Lowery says he planned his retirement around what he loves, such as enjoying dinner with friends and being involved in politics, not around expensive trips.
He prefers to stay in one community. Lowery says he moved to Bellingham, and has a second home in Vancouver, because he can hike the mountains or relax on beaches without traveling far from home.
Community organizer: As a political activist and a former mayoral candidate, Lowery has spent much of his retirement working on campaigns and helping to start organizations, including Bellingham Farmers Market. He says staying involved in the Bellingham community is one of the most rewarding aspects of retirement.
"Retirement has given me the opportunity to think about what's happening in the community and to make a difference," he says.
Passion for music: In addition to his political involvement, Lowery also rides his bicycle, lifts weights and plays classical guitar. He picked up the guitar after he retired and practices about two hours every day.
"When you don't pause for things like that, life goes by quickly," he says. "I don't want to rush life."
Every day counts: After experiencing the death of two of his friends at age 10 and age 39, and later watching his father die at 52, Lowery says he realized life is too short to waste even a single day.
"I started asking myself, 'What are you doing today? What could you be doing to make your day worthwhile?'" he says. "This is the attitude I took with me when I retired."
Precious time: Retirement has given Lowery the freedom to manage his own schedule and to appreciate the time he has with family and friends. His wife, Brenda, studied culinary arts in Paris, and they frequently invite friends to their home for vegetarian dinners.
He says he values the time he is able to spend with those he loves.
"Time should always be more valuable than money," he says. "You go to the grave thinking you want more time, never that you had more money."
To read Del Lowery's blog, see retirementtalk.org.
Marissa Abruzzini is a freelance writer in Bellingham.